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Hi,

I am new to this site, but am really hoping that someone might have some good advice for me in regards to my Golden's as I do not seem to be getting a solution from the veterinarian's I have seen.
My female has basically had skin issues since she was a puppy. As a puppy she had very dry flaky dandruff and the vet said it was a common issue especially with dogs that were in the water a lot. Eventually this went away as she got older. She is now 8 years old and for the last 2-3 years she has had skin/fur issues down the center of her back. It started as a small spot between her shoulder blades and has progressed down the center of her spine. Her fur is very greasy and clumps together. When you separate the fur she has big flakes of skin that combined with the oil are causing the clumps. For some reason this area also seems to have patches of white hair too and if you pull on her fur there it will pretty easily pull out in clumps, but she does not have any bald patches. I have had her looked at by several vet's as well as seen a specialized dog dermatologist who tested her for demodex mites but couldn't find anything in her skin scrapings. I have been given several medicated shampoo's, which of course clear up the greasy spots for a couple of days, but it just comes back. She has also had some issues with stinky ears that I understand is caused by yeast infections. And just recently I am starting to detect that same smell in certain spots on her fur. I would love to find not only a product that could help but I also really believe in understanding what the underlying problem is rather than just treating the symptoms. She doesn't seem to be in distress or really itchy or bothered, but I know this is not normal and would love to fix it.
My 2nd Golden is the same age and he does not have this same problem, but for the last year or so he has started having sores and scabby looking patches that he scratches until they bleed around his head/face and neck. The vet has diagnosed with staph infections and hot spots and keeps putting him on antibiotics and wanted to give him steroid shots as well. I would prefer to avoid both of these options and am also just wanting to make sure that this condition is not something that is perhaps related to the issue from my female somehow....?
I am listing some basic info for them in case these details might be helpful:

Food I feed them is Nutrisource grain free Heartland Select which is a bison based formula
I give them Salmon oil and 1 tsp of nzymes sprouted granules which are ground sprouted soybeans (recommended to me as being good for immune and skin/fur issues) with their morning meal. Their evening meal is the same food with Nupro joint and immunity powder and total-biotics (which is a powdered probiotic) added.
I keep them both pretty active and they do both get to go swimming quite a bit.

I would love to have any recommendations or help that you are willing to offer as I am at a loss for what to do/try next and I just want them to be healthy and happy!
Thank you so much in advance and I apologize for the long first post!
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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Have you tested for Ichthyosis? It is a genetic disease. Google for imaging- To see if visually this is what your dog has.

Diet can help with the symptoms but there is no cure.
 
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Different things work for different dogs but I think that you should give refined coconut oil a go.

Supposedly,"It can give your dog a smooth glossy coat, as well as healthy, supple skin. Yeast and fungal infections are also treated and prevented through the use of coconut oil."
I am in the midst of experimenting with it myself. :)

Allergy tests reveal that my golden is allergic to grass as well as fish (which we gave to him because it was supposed to be good for the skin) so it might be worth getting a blood and saliva test done.
 

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I'd get the genetic test for ichthyosis (not the skin biopsy test!) and a full thyroid panel before bothering with anything else. The two of those together probably make up the majority of most serious skin and coat problems in Goldens.
 

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Thanks so much to all for the advice. My vet did not seem to think that either ichthyosis or thyroid were possible issues. Ichthyosis was a no because of the really greasy nature that accompanies the dry flakes and also because it is just in the one area down her back. She also doesn't think thyroid because she thought that the other more prevalent symptoms such as lethargy and weight gain aren't present. I had mentioned to her that my dog also has a big problem with aggression towards other dogs for the past several years (which I had read was often also thyroid related), but as that was present for a while before the skin thing, she didn't think that there was any correlation.
Her thoughts are that the most likely thing is that her issue is either related to allergies or that she just has some sort of overactive sebaceous gland issue. She didn't think allergy testing was that reliable and suggested starting her on a allergy elimination type of diet.
My biggest concern is just in making sure that this is not a symptom of some other larger underlying problem that can get worse if not attended to, but the vet does not seem to think that is the case...
 

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Thanks so much for your comment! I would love to hear back how the coconut oil works for you. I know it is great for all sorts of human things and I am a fan of things that can be used for multiple purposes and that I know are safe for use for both them and me.
 

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Thanks so much to all for the advice. My vet did not seem to think that either ichthyosis or thyroid were possible issues. Ichthyosis was a no because of the really greasy nature that accompanies the dry flakes and also because it is just in the one area down her back. She also doesn't think thyroid because she thought that the other more prevalent symptoms such as lethargy and weight gain aren't present. I had mentioned to her that my dog also has a big problem with aggression towards other dogs for the past several years (which I had read was often also thyroid related), but as that was present for a while before the skin thing, she didn't think that there was any correlation.
Her thoughts are that the most likely thing is that her issue is either related to allergies or that she just has some sort of overactive sebaceous gland issue. She didn't think allergy testing was that reliable and suggested starting her on a allergy elimination type of diet.
My biggest concern is just in making sure that this is not a symptom of some other larger underlying problem that can get worse if not attended to, but the vet does not seem to think that is the case...
Please have your vet run the thyroid test whether they think it is thyroid or not. It is very common in Goldens, and she needs to be tested to rule it out, or in. Did they refuse to run the icthyosis test also?
 

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My Rowdy was severely hypothyroid but was well deserving of his name - while the thyroid is failing, it can go through storming. I insisted he be tested after a few years of skin problems during which a Tufts specialist, a dermatolgist and his regular vet could not resolve through skin plugs, other testing and topical treatments - he came back as severely hypothyroid although he was hyper and underweight.

For the ICH test, ask your vet for a blood draw to send to Optigen or find a clinic local to you at OptiGen - homepage headlines - genetic diseases in dogs - canine genetic testing - Ithaca, New York

Good luck.
 
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